Must Read Op-Ed and Profiles


#161

Here’s an Opinion piece from a Republican ex-aide of Bush. Interesting that traditional R’s do not recognize any part of the Grand Old Party, and wish for the Dems to at least capture the House, as a check on T.

@kylegriffin1 (NBC)
Ex-Bush aide Michael Gerson: “The only way to save the GOP is to defeat it in the House. In this case, a Republican vote for a Democratic representative will be an act of conscience.”

Democratic strategists, however, will make a tremendous mistake if they assume that “white collar” means Oberlin College-educated anti-Trump marchers in genital-shaped headwear. To win the House, Democrats need to secure gains in the suburbs of places such as Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. .

They should vote Democratic in their House race, no matter who the Democrats put forward. And they should vote Republican in Senate races with mainstream candidates (unlike, say, Corey Stewart in Virginia).

If Democrats gain control of the House but not the Senate, they will be a check on the president without becoming a threat to his best policies (from a Republican perspective) or able to enact their worst policies. The tax cut will stand. The Senate will still approve conservative judges. But the House will conduct real oversight hearings and expose both Russian influence and administration corruption. Under Republican control, important committees — such as Chairman Devin Nunes’s House Intelligence Committee — have become scraping, sniveling, panting and pathetic tools of the executive branch. Only Democratic control can drain this particular swamp.

Democrats, I suspect, will make a victory harder than it should be. A significant number seem to view Trump’s vulnerability as an opportunity to ideologically purify their party. They are actively undermining the job of containing the president by alienating centrist voters they need to turn the House.

But this does not change the political and ethical reality. The only way to save the GOP is to defeat it in the House. In this case, a Republican vote for a Democratic representative will be an act of conscience.


#162

For eight months, the president of the United States has been directing an unprecedented amount of political venom and vitriol at a single FBI agent. That agent has now been fired in a manner inconsistent with the recommendation of an independent disciplinary arm of the FBI. And because of those two facts, it is impossible not to wonder whether Strzok’s firing was politically motivated, or became more likely because of Trump’s political attacks — something that Americans should never have to wonder about with law enforcement decisions.

We will likely never know whether Strzok was fired because of political calculations or pressure from the White House. It is plausible, though. But we already have clear evidence — from his calls for jailing of his opponents to his use of pardons for political allies — that Trump sees the rule of law through a purely political lens and that he is trying to bend it to his will. Whether he succeeds or not, his ongoing efforts to politicize the rule of law have already injected a dangerous toxin into America’s political bloodstream. I fear any eventual antidote will take years or decades to expel the venom.


#163

And so we come to a place where Brett Kavanaugh is preponderantly likely to be confirmed by the Senate, yet for all the wrong reasons. He will be confirmed not because he is well qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, though he is certainly well qualified. He will be confirmed not because he is a principled and talented jurist, though he is a principled and talented jurist. Indeed, he will be confirmed not because of any of his virtues, though he has many virtues.

He will be confirmed because there are 51 Republican senators in office and a Republican vice president who can break a tie if need be. While he may get a few Democratic votes, he will get confirmed—indeed, he will get a vote at all—because Republicans right now have the raw political power to confirm him on their own. That political constellation of power exists because people expect him to vote in certain ways on certain types of cases, to deliver certain specific outcomes on issues they care about. Democrats will oppose him for the same reasons. And here’s the rub: If the balance of power changes even a little bit before the vote on him takes place and Democrats somehow come into a working majority, then Kavanaugh will not be confirmed and might not even get a vote. Our partisanship over Supreme Court nominations is not yet perfect, but it is getting there fast.


#164

Op-ed from The NY Times on the the Trump Tax Cuts

This graph says it all :point_down:

For more graphs with some Op-ed click here :point_down:


(M A Croft) #165

Well! Surprise! Surprise! Anyone who has any appreciation of basic economics could have predicted this outcome months ago, when the greedy lot who now form your current administration first proposed it. It’s been the same mantra from those on the right for the past 30 - 40 years. “Trickle Down” has been shown to be a crock in country after country. In the UK, in Australia, in my own country NZ, and anywhere else, including of course the US. I’m sure you will all be aware of this famous image:


#166

A post was merged into an existing topic: Humor, memes, funny internet stuff etc


#167

Over 300 newspapers are united today asking to be respected for free and fair press coverage, as a T continues to criticize all news coverage - in his terms “Enemy of the people.”

AUG. 15, 2018

In 1787, the year the Constitution was adopted, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to a friend, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

That’s how he felt before he became president, anyway. Twenty years later, after enduring the oversight of the press from inside the White House, he was less sure of its value. “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper,” he wrote. “Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”

Jefferson’s discomfort was, and remains, understandable. Reporting the news in an open society is an enterprise laced with conflict. His discomfort also illustrates the need for the right he helped enshrine. As the founders believed from their own experience, a well-informed public is best equipped to root out corruption and, over the long haul, promote liberty and justice.

“Public discussion is a political duty,” the Supreme Court said in 1964. That discussion must be “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” and “may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials. Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period.

List of papers


#168

John Brennan claps back in The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.

The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of “Trump Incorporated” attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets. A jury is about to deliberate bank and tax fraud charges against one of those people, Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman. And the campaign’s former deputy chairman, Rick Gates, has pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him. Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference — from Mr. Trump or anyone else — so that all Americans can get the answers they so rightly deserve.

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:


#169

It is astounding how emboldened our criminal President is. Time and again, he commits crimes in broad daylight:

  • During a nationally broadcast news conference, Trump openly conspires with the Russians to attack our elections: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” - July 27, 2016

  • In a prime-time television program watched by millions, Trump pointedly describes how he obstructed justice: “[Rod Rosenstein] made a recommendation but regardless of [his] recommendation I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. . .” - May 11, 2017

  • In an interview with one of the nation’s most prominent newspapers, Trump justifies his enemies list, unabashedly confessing why he placed the former head of the CIA on that list and then stripped him of his security clearance: "I call [Mueller’s investigation] the rigged witch hunt, it is a sham. And these people led it! So I think [revoking John Brennan’s security clearance] is something that had to be done.” - August 15, 2018

An excellent editorial in today’s Washington Post elaborates on the significance of this last bullet:


#170

Bingo…

This decision was nothing but getting the critics out of T’s hair so to speak.


#171

McRaven who lead the raid on Osama bin Laden pens an op-ed in the Washington Post in support of John Brennan.

William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.


#172

Biggest takeaway here:

Trump told advisers that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have Manigault Newman arrested, according to one Republican briefed on the conversations.

More bonkers by the day.


#173

Hard to believe this could be possible… :weary:

Article quote

Meanwhile, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told me that Trump is lashing out because he sees Manigault Newman as a “formidable enemy.” “Hell hath no fury like Omarosa scorned,” Nunberg said.


(Renee) #174

I think they are only working on the “turn off” part…yikes!


#175

Excellent summary and statistics regarding Trump’s divisive, rude, crude, hate-filled tweets that reveal who is the real lowlife.

Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has directly insulted, attacked or otherwise maligned nearly 100 individuals, according to our unscientific review of his feed.

Trump has used the phrase “Crooked Hillary” more than 60 times since taking office. By comparison, “Fake News” clocks in with 252 appearances and “Witch Hunt” at 113. Special counsel Robert Mueller, either directly or in reference to his team, has been named in around 30 tweets.

If you want to view Trump’s tweets (in the spirit of “know the opposition”), you can find them in the archive below. Viewing here does not add traffic to his actual Twitter feed (which can provide him with a stat to brag about). Also, this archive preserves all his tweets, even the ones he deletes or modifies.


#176

Where does the Republican party find these people? It’s almost unbelievable that a Republican would welcome the support of a wild-eyed, conspiracy theorist like Mike Cernovich. This isn’t a candidate for school board in some little backwater – this is a mainstream Republican candidate running for the U.S. Senate.

After four years of trying to convince Arizona voters to send her to the U.S. Senate, Kelli Ward wraps it up this week . . . By traveling around the state with one of the country’s most obnoxious conspiracy theorists and male supremacists. Mike Cernovich is best known for his 2016 work promoting Pizzagate, the absurd claim that Hillary Clinton was part of a pedophile ring in the basement of a Washington D.C. pizzeria.

He has proclaimed date rape “does not exist” and said that the only way to avoid it is “not being a slut.” He has accused various politicians and journalists critical of President Donald Trump of being pedophiles or running child sex rings. He previously has associated with the alt-righters and white-nationalists . . . And now, with Kelli Ward.

This op-ed also includes a selection of Cernovich’s tweets that include stunning proclamations of overt racism and misogyny.

Ward has the audacity to pretend she isn’t familiar with Cernovich’s views – yet she invites him to accompany her on a campaign tour? A classic dog whistle to the Trump base. The Republican party has truly gone off the rails.

Last night, Kasie Hunt on MSNBC challenged Ward regarding this endorsement. Ward basically shrugged it off by not answering the questions and, instead, spouted lists of memorized talking points (starting at 3:10).


#177

Yet again, Republicans empower the President by doing nothing

Republicans, who control the House and Senate, are taking zero action after our President was accused in Federal Court of committing a crime that influenced the outcome of the 2016 election. Today, Chuck Todd started his show with a montage of Republican Senators’ responses which amounted to nothing more than a collective shrug – as if this has nothing to do with them. Yet, it has everything to do with them. They should immediately begin a congressional investigation to determine if Trump is a co-conspirator in the crime that Michael Cohen confessed to. Cohen claims Trump was not just a passive participant, but actually instigated the crime by directing Cohen to carry it out. What more probable cause is needed? Republicans should be outraged. Instead, we get, “meh.”

Some sound bites from the Senators’ responses:

Sen. Orrin Hatch: “I don’t think he can be indicted while sitting in office, but we’ll just have to see where this all works out . . .”

Sen. Pat Toomey: “Obviously, this is very, very unfortunate. It’s very serious. I want to see this go through our judicial system. That’s what’s been happening and, you know, we’ll see it through.”

Sen. Jeff Flake: “The Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “No, it’s not a good day for the President. I mean you’ve got an accusation by his former lawyer that he did conspire to violate campaign finance laws. I don’t know the intricacies of campaign finance laws, so it is not a good day.”

Sen. Bob Corker: “I’m sure there are going to be other revelations that come up and I think we ought to just let the process work.”

Sen. John Cronyn [In response to a reporter’s question, “So you’re not concerned?”]: No that’s not what I said. That’s what you said." [Dodges behind a door.]

Translation in every case: “I’m going to furrow my brow and pretend I care while I stand by and do absolutely nothing.”

And what about Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, the top two congressional Republicans? Has this latest five-alarm development galvanized them into action? Hardly. They both have made no comments whatsoever.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brushed past reporters Wednesday without answering questions about Cohen or the possibility that the lawyer’s accusations about an illegal campaign cover-up are grounds for impeachment proceedings against Trump. GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is away from Washington, had no direct response either. - Washington Post


#178

Very poor response…thanks for recap @Keaton_James . Just watching their news bites now.

Outrageous…and tepid.

"No he can not be indicted, " is the sure fire answer now.

Com’on…


#179

There is a 2 minute video…and I summarize a bit of it here.

Coal miners work has been hard work, and it is has been both Democratic and currently Republic. Appalachia area voted heavily for Gore. But there was pushback to go towards a R president and rebel against the ‘elites.’

But coal industry is an unsafe industry, it’s got a terrible impact on the environment.

Coal Miner to Trump: ‘Coal Mining Isn’t Coming Back’

A fifth-generation coal miner from Appalachia tells Trump his plan to loosen regulations on coal-fired plants is not only harmful to the environment, but also bad for the future of the region.

In the op-ed video above, Nick Mullins, a fifth-generation miner and a ninth-generation Appalachian from Virginia, explains why Trump’s sunny rhetoric about the coal industry and plans to lower emissions standards are not helping regular coal miners — they’re lining the pockets of industry executives. As coal seams dwindle, Trump’s promises to revive the industry sound false and regressive. It’s time to invest and create other economies in the region to give opportunities to the next generation of Appalachians.


#180

As invisible as the image is of The Emporer is not wearing any clothes,

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Danish: Kejserens nye klæder) is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes”, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” Hans Christian Anderson’s Emporer wearing no clothes

We see this President not having a (realistic) clue about his circumstances it seems. Now he says he really can not be prosecuted because he has not committed any crimes…

Well, with that and the “I can sell you a bridge…” kind of logic, the NYT Neal Katyl’s Opinion piece.

Opinion
This Conspiracy Theory Should Worry Trump

When two or more people join together to break the law, as Michael Cohen says he and the president did, the penalties can be harsh.

President Trump needs a new defense. He started out with the claim that he didn’t know anything about payments that his former lawyer Michael Cohen arranged or made to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels. Mr. Cohen’s tape destroyed that assertion, at least as it applied to Ms. McDougal.

His defense then evolved to denying any personal responsibility for those actions. Predictably, Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement on Tuesday destroyed that defense, too, after he told a federal judge under oath that the president had directed him to arrange payments to the two women, who claim to have had affairs with Mr. Trump, “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”

Now President Trump has moved on to a new defense, claiming that what he did wasn’t a crime and so it can’t be prosecuted. That argument has no basis, either, and is inconsistent with centuries of Anglo-American law.